HC Deb 06 May 1952 vol 500 cc168-70
15. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the anticipated increase in the school population in the developing mining area of Fife, from January, 1952, to January, 1954, as a result of the transfer of miners and their families from the west to the east of Scotland; and what steps he proposes to take to ensure adequate educational facilities for these additional children.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. James Stuart)

About 290 in 1952 and about 390 in 1953. The needs of these children have been taken into account in planning new schools for Dunfermline, Kennoway and Kirkcaldy.

Mr. Hamilton

How, then, does the Secretary of State account for the statement he made at a Press conference a few weeks ago that, as a result of the circulars which he had issued recently, some of the areas which had suffered most would be among the development areas? Fife was one of the areas cited.

Mr. Stuart

We are doing everything we can to push on with the erection of new schools in the areas receiving the transferred population.

16. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many over-crowded classes existed in the primary and secondary departments of Fife schools on 31st December in 1939, 1945. 1950 and 1951.

Mr. J. Stuart

Statistics are not available for 31st December in any year. I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate in the OFFICIAL

Number of Classes Number of Oversized Classes
Total Primary First Three Years Secondary Fourth Year or beyond Secondary Total Maximum 50 Maximum 45 First Three Years Secondary Maximum 40 Fourth Year or beyond Secondary Maximum 30
31st March, 1939. 1,304 1,091 171 42 22 17 3 2
31st March, 1946. 1,344 1,143 150 51 22 4 13 5
31st March, 1949. 1,414 956 392 66 65 13 48 4
31st March, 1951. 1,393 973 358 62 101 64 26 11
17. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many primary and secondary schools will be completed in Fife this year; how many additional places these schools will provide; and how far such new accommodation will relieve the problem of overcrowded classes.

Mr. J. Stuart

One large secondary school was opened in March; it is hoped that a big temporary extension to another will be finished during the year. Four large primary schools are under construction; in each case it is expected that some rooms will be ready for occupation by September. The completion of one small school, and of additions or restorations at four other buildings, will take place within the year. All these buildings will together provide over 2,700 places which, I understand, will enable the education authority to reduce the size of 84 of the 103 oversize classes.

REPORT a table giving such detailed figures as are available.

Mr. Hamilton

Can the Secretary of State say whether there is an increase indicated in the years in question and whether there is likely to be an increase in the overcrowded classes this year?

Mr. Stuart

As to the increase before this year the operation of the Schools (Scotland) Code in September, 1950, lowered the maximum for primary classes from 50 to 45 and this, naturally, may cause an increase.

Following are the figures:

Mr. Hamilton

Does the right hon Gentleman realise that in the next year or two Fife is likely to have an increasing number of miners from the west of Scotland? Could he indicate therefore whether there are any extra facilities or increased priorities for the developing mining areas in Scotland as against other areas?

Mr. Stuart

Yes, Sir. We realise that this transfer will create great difficulties in Fife which are not applicable in all other areas and we are doing everything we can to meet those difficulties.

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